I'm going to write down all the details because I will want to remember everything. Wednesday I went to my 36 week check-up. My midwife said that it is up to me if I wanted to get "checked" or not. I originally didn't want to until I was 38 weeks, but I had been having braxton hicks for so long that I decided I wanted to see where I was starting. I was 3cm and 50%. When I left I wanted to cry, I wasn't ready to never feel my baby kick or hiccup inside me. That Friday we had our maternity pictures made (thank goodness). Monday I picked up Cohen at 11:30 and I started feeling really uncomfortable. When I was driving home I couldn't sit down, I was driving standing up...really:) Got home and then felt fine. At 4:30 lost my plug. Couldn't go to sleep that night and at 1 I started having contractions. I stayed in bed for an hour timing them and they were 5-10 minutes apart. At 2 I got up and started walking around and they were 3-5 minutes apart and pretty painful. Woke up Michael, waited another hour of 5 minute apart contractions then called my amazing friend Dyan to come over. Headed to the hospital and didn't have one contraction on the way there. When I got there they spaced out to every 10 minutes and I was still 3cm. I wanted to scream when she said I was 3. I thought for sure I was at least 6 because I was really hurting. I walked around for a while and then my midwife came in at 7 and checked me and I was 4. She sent me home because 1. I was only 37 weeks, 2. My contractions were all over the place 3-10 minutes apart, and 3. I wasn't really progressing. She offered something to help me sleep but I refused because honestly the way I was hurting I thought I would end up having the baby in my bed.
Tuesday Michael of course stayed home and I labored ALL DAY long. This was very interesting having the kids home too. I was trying really hard to pretend it wasn't as bad as it really was. The boys didn't seem to notice too much but Savvy didn't like it. She told me I "needed to go to the hospital because you are acting weird" and "daddy, mommy is doing that thing again"- I was breathing through a contraction. Nothing I was doing would make them come closer together or stop. It was absolutely miserable. I would have an hour of every 5 minutes then the next hour only have 2 but they were getting harder. Around supper time I was in the tub for the 3rd time and sweet Caleb came in with his pillow and blanket and just laid on the floor. I was so worn out emotionally and physically. I called Michael in and with all seriousness I told him "the title of this labor is the battle." He started to laugh and I snapped "this is NOT funny!" Then I started to cry. I told him I felt like my body and Norah were in a battle. I thought my body wanted to be in labor but she didn't want to come out or vise versa. Then I started laughing, I was completely delusional and my Michael hugged me and went and fed the children.
I wanted so bad to go back to the hospital but STILL my contractions were not regular. At 11 that night I got in the tub again. It woke up Savvy so I went and laid with her in her bed, then after 3 contractions they were getting unbearable. I went and hung out in our bathroom and Michael woke up, I hesitantly told him that we needed to go back to the hospital. I was so scared they were going to send me home again because my contractions weren't regular or that after a full day of labor I was still a 4. We called amazing Dyan again and got to the hospital around 2am. When I walked into the hospital I was absolutely exhausted and mentally done. I wasn't smiling, actually looking back I think I was angry...at everyone :) The nurse checked me right away and I was 6 and 100%. Literally the heavens opened up. Even though it had taken me all day to dilate 2cm, that was all I needed and everything was peachy after that. I think really I was just happy to have someone validate that I was in active labor. I got in the tub for about an hour, we walked the halls, I laid down. We found out that if I was standing up my contractions would come really close together about every 3-5 minutes but if I laid down they would space out to 5-15 minutes apart.
My midwife got there at 3 and stayed the entire time and my nurse was wonderful. They both just wanted to do whatever I wanted and were in our room most of the time. Around 5:30 I asked if she would check me and I was 8! We walked the halls for about 25 more minutes then I laid down for a bit. Susan and Michael talked me into standing back up because my contractions came closer together. Right before 7 I said I wanted to try and push. I didn't have a desire to push but was ready for her to be here. I got on the bed, Susan broke my water and precious Norah Jane was born at 7:10. I was able to hold all of the kids right after they were born, but at the most for 5 minutes, then they would take them to the warmer and do whatever they do, then give them back. This hospital let me hold Norah for as long as I wanted, they examined her while she was laying on me. I loved it and have been a Norah hog since, after an hour Michael was pretty antsy to get his hangs on her :) We couldn't stop staring at her and no telling how many times we said "she is so cute", or "look how sweet she is".
God definitely made her birth memorable. The longest birth I had previously was Caleb's and it was 10 hours, Savvy and Cohen's was 8 hours start to finish. Norah's was 30 hours and most of that was hard/intense back contractions. I'm glad NOW that I went natural, but I know I don't ever want to do it again. Going on 3 hours of sleep, not being able to eat (I had no appetite) and pain on top of it this was the hardest thing I have ever done. I would never have survived without Michael, he needs to become a professional doula :) He probably only had 6 hours of sleep the entire time and had me laughing until it was time to push he also did everything he could to help me out.
Norah is perfect and was worth every second of that 30 hours